Week 2 takeaways in the NFL: Concern for Eagles, Steelers?

Concern grew for a few teams with Super Bowl hopes in the second week of the 2018 NFL season. The Patriots, Eagles and Steelers all fell, the Vikings and Packers settled for a tie (yes, another one!) and the Saints just slipped by for a close win.

Here are all of the biggest takeaways from Week 2.

Jump to a matchup:

Chicago Bears 24, Seattle Seahawks 17

The Bears defense is for real. Chicago harassed Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson the entire night, sacking him six times and recording a pick six. There is still concern that Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky continues to struggle taking shots down the field, but on this night, the defense proved pretty formidable. -- Jeff Dickerson

It's going to be a long season if the Seahawks' offense keeps operating the way it did Monday night. Russell Wilson was off, throwing a pick six as part of his down night. The pass-protection was again sub-par and the playcalling left a lot to be desired, especially when it came to abandoning the run and not finding ways to ease the pressure on Wilson. And no, Doug Baldwin's absence doesn't explain all or even most of that. -- Brady Henderson

Dallas Cowboys 20, New York Giants 13

It was only Week 2, but Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones knew the importance of Sunday's game against the Giants. The Cowboys avoided the dreaded 0-2 hole with their 20-13 win, stopping the sky from falling -- temporarily at least -- after a disheartening season-opening loss to the Panthers. "It was on the line tonight," Jones said. "This was a big game for us. Not any more for [Dak Prescott], but it was on the line tonight." The Cowboys travel to Seattle next week, followed by back-to-back games against winless Detroit and Houston. This win can set them up for an early-season run that balances out a tough stretch toward the close of the season. -- Todd Archer

Again, the Giants are 0-2 after they lost 20-13 to the Cowboys. This is the fifth time in six years they've dropped their first two games. It's trouble. Since the inception of the current playoff format, 88 percent of teams to start 0-2 miss the playoffs. You have to wonder where this Giants team is headed with an aging and ineffective quarterback behind a bad offensive line that allowed six sacks. It deems all their weapons mute. The Giants have two touchdowns in their first two games. Next up: a tough Texans defense ... on the road. -- Jordan Raanan

Minnesota Vikings 29, Green Bay Packers 29

The most frustrating aspect of Sunday's tie relayed by Vikings players and coach Mike Zimmer was how many chances they had to put the Packers away. The Vikings settled for field goals, which rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed. "Guys are supposed to do their jobs," Zimmer said. "Maybe we should've thrown a ball into the end zone a couple of times at the end, but I believed that the guy was going to make the kick." The Vikings have a good chance to improve to 2-0-1 when they host the winless Bills in Week 3. -- Courtney Cronin

The most talked about subject after the Packers' tie wasn't how Aaron Rodgers valiantly played with an injured left knee. Rather, it was the questionable roughing-the-passer call on Clay Matthews that wiped out a late fourth-quarter interception that might have clinched the win. And you can bet it will be a point of discussion right up until next Sunday's game at Washington, which became even more critical after the tie. -- Rob Demovsky

Atlanta Falcons 31, Carolina Panthers 24

Matt Ryan made plays with his arm and his feet, accounting for four TDs and igniting his teammates with some Cam Newton-like scrambles. With Ryan playing at a high level, rookie Calvin Ridley scoring a TD and the Falcons establishing a running game behind Tevin Coleman (16 rushes, 107 rushing yards) -- not to mention creative playcalling and an admirable job by a banged-up offensive line -- the Falcons go into next week's showdown with the Saints confident in their ability to put up points. -- Vaughn McClure

The run defense, in the word of Panthers coach Ron Rivera, was "terrible" and the number of dropped passes was "disappointing." Throw in a makeshift offensive line because of injuries, and it was almost a miracle Carolina had a chance to tie Atlanta on the last play. Nevertheless, it put more emphasis on the need to win the next two games at home against Cincinnati and the New York Giants. Win those to get to 3-1 with outside linebacker Thomas Davis returning from a four-game suspension, and the sting from Sunday's loss won't feel so bad. -- David Newton

Kansas City Chiefs 42, Pittsburgh Steelers 37

The Chiefs have reason to believe they can outscore the 49ers next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium -- and any of their other opponents down the line. They started strong offensively last year before hitting a midseason slump, but they also didn't have Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. His presence, plus an improved collection of skill players that includes Sammy Watkins, makes them more difficult to defend this season. -- Adam Teicher

The Steelers' offense still has its fastball and looks ready to win shootouts after Ben Roethlisberger's 452-yard performance, but why should it have to? The team has spent significant draft capital on a defense that looked confused and overmatched against the Chiefs. Players admitted communication breakdowns dug them a 21-0 deficit, and that shouldn't happen on a team stocked with veterans. Monday Night Football will be a gut check for a 0-1-1 team with Super Bowl hopes. -- Jeremy Fowler

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 21

This "Fitz-Magic" thing is real. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for eight touchdowns and has a rushing TD and the Bucs are 2-0 for the first time since 2010. But credit also goes to the defense for getting more pressure on Nick Foles than they did Drew Brees last week. Rookie defensive backs Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart and Jordan Whitehead looked fine stepping into big roles because of injuries. -- Jenna Laine

The Eagles have some issues to deal with coming out of their loss to the Bucs. Jason Peters and Mike Wallace got banged up, and there was a lack of discipline and execution on both sides of the ball. But the winds are about to shift. Carson Wentz is expected to make his return next week at home against the Colts, which will likely invigorate this team and keep the sting of this loss from lingering. -- Tim McManus

New Orleans Saints 21, Cleveland Browns 18

Two weeks and two wake-up calls for the Saints, but at least they got a victory this time. The Saints' offense flopped for most of the day while the defense actually kept them afloat (the exact opposite of Week 1's 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay). Drew Brees said they might have left more "points out there" than he could ever remember. The good news: New Orleans goes into this week's game at Atlanta with a "huge sense of urgency for our improvement," according to Brees. -- Mike Triplett

A quick turnaround for Thursday night's game against the Jets awaits, so the Browns can't wallow after another brutal loss. The team that can't seem to get things right may face the Jets with a new place-kicker after Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points in a three-point loss to the Saints. -- Pat McManamon

Indianapolis Colts 21, Washington Redskins 9

Andrew Luck's play may no longer dictate whether the Colts win or lose, if Sunday was any indication. Luck hurt the Colts with two interceptions on their side of the field, only to be bailed out by the defense. The D, which has finished 20th or worse in five of the past six seasons, held Washington to nine points. Second-round pick Darius Leonard was the best player on the field this week with 18 tackles, a sack and an interception. Indy faces the defending champion Eagles in Week 3. -- Mike Wells

The Redskins' offense can't just sling the ball around and win without a consistent run game. Against the Colts, they rushed for only 65 yards -- 117 fewer than a week ago. The offensive line did not handle the Colts' movement up front, so they can expect to see more of this style moving forward. Considering they play high-powered Green Bay next week, the Redskins can't afford another bad day in the ground game. -- John Keim

Tennessee Titans 20, Houston Texans 17

In Mike Vrabel's first victory as an NFL coach, creativity and tempo helped generate a spark without quarterback Marcus Mariota and top offensive tackles Taylor Lewan and Dennis Kelly. Safety Kevin Byard had a 66-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt, and Tennessee mixed in Derrick Henry in a Wildcat look. Vrabel said Mariota (elbow) will be further evaluated after not playing on Sunday, as the Titans hope to have their QB back for next week's road trip to Jacksonville. -- Turron Davenport

The Texans need better pass protection for Deshaun Watson, who was hit nine times and sacked four Sunday. Watson constantly faced pressure and didn't have time to throw, especially early. Julie'n Davenport, who started at right tackle after Seantrel Henderson was put on IR last week, said the offensive line "has to be better" starting next week when the Texans host the Giants. -- Sarah Barshop

Miami Dolphins 20, New York Jets 12

The Dolphins are 2-0 for the first time since 2013, and coach Adam Gase said they plan to "keep surprising people." An efficient Ryan Tannehill and attacking defense led the way for a team that is riding an early-season high and feels like they can be a surprise playoff contender. The field is open for them in a weak AFC. -- Cameron Wolfe

Memo to those who believe Sam Darnold had arrived after his big debut: He's a rookie. He will make mistakes. He threw two interceptions as the Jets dropped their home opener, and now he has only three days to prepare for the Browns' blitz-heavy defense on Thursday night. This is the growing-pain phase. -- Rich Cimini

Los Angeles Chargers 31, Buffalo Bills 20

The Chargers earned their first victory without the services of defensive end Joey Bosa. Melvin Ingram and Derwin James filled the void, helping the Chargers to five sacks against rookie Josh Allen. The Chargers face another tough task against the Rams -- a Week 3 battle for Los Angeles at the Coliseum -- which will be a barometer on if the Bolts remain favorites to reach the postseason for the first time since 2013. -- Eric D. Williams

Allen's NFL starting debut was overshadowed by another poor defensive performance, at least in the first half. After allowing 47 points to the Ravens in the opener, Buffalo trailed the Chargers, 28-6, at halftime. When it returned for the second half, cornerback Vontae Davis had abruptly retired and coach Sean McDermott had taken over playcalling duties from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The Bills have four of their next five games on the road, including the next two at Minnesota and Green Bay. -- Mike Rodak

Jacksonville Jaguars 31, New England Patriots 20

It may be only Week 2, but the Jaguars' victory over the Patriots should send a message to the rest of the NFL that their success in 2017 wasn't a fluke. The franchise had been 0-8 against Tom Brady and had beaten the Patriots once in 12 previous meetings. The Jags can't dwell on this victory too much, though, because they host division-rival Tennessee on Sunday. Tennessee swept the Jaguars last season, and a victory on Sunday would give them a 2.5-game lead in the AFC South. -- Michael DiRocco

The Patriots' defense was the biggest disappointment as Blake Bortles finished with 377 yards and four scores. The Pats didn't follow through on one of their key game-plan points of keeping Bortles in the pocket. A trip to Detroit is on deck, where the Patriots would like to show former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia that they're better than they played against the Jaguars. -- Mike Reiss

Los Angeles Rams 34, Arizona Cardinals 0

The Rams' defense has posted six consecutive scoreless quarters, and while Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh aren't filling up the stat sheet, their presence certainly has been felt by opposing quarterbacks. The challenge next week against the Chargers and Philip Rivers will be to force turnovers, which they were unable to do Sunday. -- Lindsey Thiry

There is a lot of work to be done for the Cardinals, especially on offense. Arizona has scored only six points in eight quarters, struggling to run or pass the ball. In fact, the Cardinals are 4-of-20 on third downs this season, so unless the offense can figure something out soon, the Cardinals' season could be lost before it really gets going. -- Josh Weinfuss

San Francisco 49ers 30, Detroit Lions 27

The Niners couldn't afford a loss to Detroit, especially with difficult road games against the Chiefs and Chargers up next. With a 66-yard jolt of lightning from running back Matt Breida and a fortunate defensive holding call on the Lions, the 49ers got the job done. "A win is a win, but it felt like a loss," cornerback Richard Sherman said after the game. They must be better in all phases if they're going to slow down the Patrick Mahomes train next week in Kansas City. -- Nick Wagoner

There are signs of life for the Lions, and that's encouraging for a team that looked in real trouble after the first seven quarters of the season. Multiple players even admitted that Sunday was "progress" after a 31-point loss to the Jets on Monday. Detroit gave itself a shot to win at the end, so, at least in theory, the Lions have something to build on heading into Week 3 against New England. -- Michael Rothstein

Denver Broncos 20, Oakland Raiders 19

Two games, two fourth-quarter comebacks and two wins for the Broncos. "We showed a lot of character and fight, and that's good, but we can't keep waiting like that," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. With games coming up against the Ravens, Rams and Chiefs, Denver can't keep racing the clock in the fourth quarter to try to clean up early mistakes. The Broncos had one first down in the first half Sunday and didn't have an offensive touchdown drive until their first possession of the third quarter. -- Jeff Legwold

Yes, 0-2 is ugly, but as down as the locker room was after the loss, there was also a strange sense of optimism because if the Raiders make one of at least 10 plays, they win the game. "We're this close," Derek Carr said. But offensive tackle Donald Penn pointed out, "That's the difference between good teams and mediocre teams. Right now, we're a mediocre team." -- Paul Gutierrez

Cincinnati Bengals 34, Baltimore Ravens 23

The Bengals are 2-0 for the first time since 2015 and have all the confidence in the world as they head into a two-game road stretch against the Panthers and Falcons. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green proved their connection is alive and well with three touchdowns in the first half, which bodes well for the future of the team's offense. -- Katherine Terrell

Joe Flacco goes from the place where he struggles the most (Cincinnati) to his comfort zone, back home next week at M&T Bank Stadium to face the Broncos. When playing at home in September, Flacco is 16-2 with 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His passer rating is 99.5. -- Jamison Hensley